Harrier Puppies

Photo of Harrier

A playful, friendly, and athletic breed

The Harrier is a long-established dog breed whose original purpose was to hunt hares and foxes by trailing them. Today, Harriers are fairly rare, but their keen sense of smell and tireless work ethic make them an excellent choice for hunters.

Harrier At a Glance

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Harrier At a Glance

  • Size: 19"-21", 45-60 lbs.
  • Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Energy Level: high
  • Coat: Short and glossy
  • Shedding: moderate
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Dog Group: Hound
  • Common Nicknames:

Harrier Breed Guide

Learn More About Harriers

  • Temperament

    The Harrier is a friendly dog that loves to play and explore with its nose. This breed is good with children and gets along well with other animals, but is typically reserved around strangers. When bored or lonely, the Harrier, like many hounds, tends to bark or bay. That said, they do not tolerate being left alone for extended periods of time.

  • Health

    Harriers are generally healthy dogs with almost no breed-specific health issues. Conditions owners should be aware of include hip dysplasia, ear infections, and eye problems.

  • Activity Level

    Because of their hunting instincts, Harriers have a lot of energy. That said, they should receive about an hour of exercise every day. These dogs make great hiking or running companions, and they are also known to excel in agility.

  • Grooming

    Harriers don't need excessive grooming, just a light brushing once every week. This breed will need its ears to be regularly checked for signs of infection and cleaned out. Owners should give their Harriers baths around once a month to keep doggy odor to a minimum.

  • Shedding

    Harriers are moderate shedders that shed more heavily when seasons change, making them a poor fit for households with allergies.

  • Appearance

    In terms of appearance, the Harrier resembles a Beagle, but larger. This breed has an athletic body and large bones. The Harrier's coat is short and coarse, and it is typically a combination of black, tan, and white.

  • History

    The Harrier is a rare breed with unknown origins. It's believed the Harrier was originally bred sometime around the 1200s in England to be used for hunting hare, the breed's namesake. Existing in the United States since the Colonial Era, early American figures like George Washington most likely used Harriers for hunting. Despite being rare, Harriers may have been used in breeding that led to our present-day American hunting hounds.